How Do You Encourage Your Player After a Tough Loss?

tough_loss_postLast week we asked you to provide input regarding how you encourage your child after a tough loss. The individual who provided the best answer would win a $50 gift certificate to HockeyShot.com. We received many excellent responses and encouraging ideas. Congratulations to Laura Shovein-Brown for providing the following winning response:

Laura said: Tough losses can be difficult for kids (and adults). The main focal points of the game are to have fun and win. Yes, I said win. Who plays a game to lose or to hand over a trophy? Let's be real.

When a player experiences a loss, it is important to ask him/her what they thought of the game and what they might change about it, if anything. And, most importantly, what did they learn from the experience? Don't let players get side tracked with blaming others (including the refs). Let them have time to reflect and talk about it, if they choose. Additionally, it is important not to criticize your player's performance. Let your player come to you or the coach for critique or advice if they feel it is necessary. If your player does want to talk about things, be sure to highlight positives, along with discussing what they might want to improve upon.

I also pass on my motto to soften the blow... "one who never loses anything, never understands or truly appreciates a win." This is a fact and applies to many things in life. Losses are learning experiences for all of us.

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Laura Shovein-Brown for winning this week's contest. As a thank you for her answer, HockeyShot.com is giving Laura a $50 gift certificate to HockeyShot.com. Want to win this week's prize? Be sure to click here for the latest Grow the Game contest.
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